Paul Merson: Odion Ighalo could be the final straw for Man United
Paul Merson says Ed Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be to blame if Odion Ighalo is not a big success at Man United
Paul Merson has claimed that Ed Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be in “big trouble” if Odion Ighalo does not end up being a big success at Manchester United.
The Red Devils have raised eyebrows with their decision to sign the Nigeria international on loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season last month.
The 30-year-old has been brought in to provide cover for the injured Marcus Rashford, who is currently sidelines with a back problem.
Ighalo has spent the last two-and-a-half seasons in the Chinese league and it remains to be seen how much of an impact he will be able to have at Old Trafford.
Former Arsenal star Merson feels that the pressure will be on executive vice-chairman Woodward and manager Solskjaer if Ighalo does not end up being a success.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson said: “Odion Ighalo could be the final straw at Manchester United.
“If that signing is a disaster then Ed Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are in big trouble.
“Don’t get me wrong. He could rediscover the form he once he had at Watford and be a huge success. But he could be the biggest laughing stock the Premier League has ever seen. Only time will tell.
“But remember, the last time he was here he only scored once in 18 games before Watford sold him and he’ll have gotten lazy playing in China.
“I’ve heard people compare it with Henrik Larsson because nobody expected him to still be any good when United signed him either.
“But Larsson had been world class. He had scored goals in major tournaments and won big trophies. And he still had his finishing and his movement.
“Ighalo doesn’t have any of that on his CV and he’s coming into a struggling team. The biggest one he’s ever played for.
“It’s a big ask, and if it all goes horribly wrong it will just pile more pressure on the manager because you’re always judged on your signings as well as your results.”
Manchester United are currently enjoying their winter break and they will not return to Premier League action until their trip to Chelsea FC on Monday 17 February.
The Red Devils are currently in seventh place in the table and six points off fourth spot as they chase Champions League qualification.